About Route 202
While technically called “U.S. Route 202,” we will simply refer to it as Route 202.
History for the road buffs listed below:
U.S. Route 202 in New Jersey
U.S. Route 202 is a U.S. Highway running from New Castle, Delaware northeast to Bangor, Maine. In the U.S. state of New Jersey, the route runs 80.31 mi (129.25 km) from the New Hope-Lambertville Toll Bridge over the Delaware River at the Pennsylvania border in Delaware Township, Hunterdon County near Lambertville northeast to the New York border in Mahwah, Bergen County. Along the route’s journey, it passes through a variety of suburban and rural environments, including the communities of Flemington, Somerville, Morristown, Parsippany-Troy Hills, Wayne, and Oakland as well as five counties: Hunterdon, Somerset, Morris, Passaic, and Bergen. U.S. Route 202 encounters many major roads in New Jersey, including Route 31, U.S. Route 206, U.S. Route 22, Interstate 80, U.S. Route 46, Route 23, and Route 17. From Somerville to the New York border, U.S. Route 202 generally runs within a close distance of Interstate 287 and interchanges with that route several times. The road ranges from a four-lane freeway between Lambertville and Ringoes in Hunterdon County to a two-lane undivided road through much of the northern portion of the route. North of the Route 53 intersection in Morris Plains, U.S. Route 202 is maintained by individual counties rather than the New Jersey Department of Transportation with a few exceptions.
In the original system of New Jersey state highways, present-day U.S. Route 202 was legislated as pre-1927 Route 5 between Morristown and Morris Plains in 1916 and as pre-1927 Route 16 between Somerville and Morristown in 1921. In 1927, the current route was designated as Route 29 between Lambertville and Ringoes, Route 30 (now Route 31) between Ringoes and Flemington, Route 12 between Flemington and Somerville, Route 31 (now U.S. Route 206) between Somerville and Bedminster, Route 32 between Bedminster and Mountain View, and Route 23 within a portion of Wayne. Meanwhile, U.S. Route 122 was signed in New Jersey to run from the New Hope-Lambertville Bridge in Lambertville, where the route continued south to State Road, Delaware, along Bridge Street, Route 29, and Route 30 to Flemington, and then along present-day County Route 523 to U.S. Route 22 in White House. In the mid-1930s, U.S. Route 122 was renumbered to U.S. Route 202 and realigned to follow its current route to New York border near Suffern, New York where it continued to Bangor, Maine. In 1953, all the state highway designations were removed from U.S. Route 202 except for Route 23 and Route 30 (which became Route 69 before becoming Route 31 in 1967) to avoid long concurrencies with the route. In the 1960s, plans were made to upgrade U.S. Route 202 to a freeway between the Pennsylvania border and Interstate 287 in Bridgewater Township. The only parts of this freeway that were completed were a bypass of Ringoes in the 1960s and a freeway between the Delaware River and Ringoes in 1974; the rest was canceled due to opposition from residents along the route. With the completion of the U.S. Route 202 freeway in Hunterdon County, the former alignment became Route 179. The portion of U.S. Route 202 concurrent with Route 23 in Wayne was upgraded from a four-lane road to a six-lane road in the 1980s.
U.S. Route 202 crosses into Delaware Township in Hunterdon County, New Jersey on the New Hope-Lambertville Toll Bridge over the Delaware River from Solebury Township, Pennsylvania, heading to the northeast as a four-lane freeway maintained by the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission. Shortly after entering New Jersey, the route passes over the Delaware and Raritan Canal comes to an interchange with Route 29 that features a northbound exit, a northbound entrance from southbound Route 29, and a southbound entrance. The route becomes maintained by the New Jersey Department of Transportation here and crosses the Alexauken Creek into Lambertville where the route features a southbound exit and northbound entrance with Alexauken Creek Road that provides access to Route 29 from southbound U.S. Route 202 and to northbound U.S. Route 202 from northbound Route 29. Past Alexauken Creek Road, the freeway enters West Amwell Township, where it heads through a mix of woodland and farmland. It comes to a diamond interchange with County Route 605 (Queen Road), which provides access to Mount Airy and Dilts Corner. Past the County Route 605 interchange, U.S. Route 202 continues northeast through agricultural areas, paralleled by Frontage Road to the north. It crosses into East Amwell Township and features to a partial cloverleaf interchange with Route 179. Past the Route 179 interchange, the road runs briefly through West Amwell Township before entering East Amwell Township again, bypassing the community of Ringoes. It comes to a partial interchange with Route 31 and County Route 579, with access to southbound Route 31 and County Route 579 from both directions of U.S. Route 202 and access to northbound U.S. Route 202 from northbound Route 31 and County Route 579.
Here, Route 31 begins a concurrency with U.S. Route 202, and both routes continue north as a four-lane divided surface road with jughandles, intersecting County Route 602 (Wertsville Road). The next intersection is for Old York Road, which heads to the southwest as Route 179 and to the northeast as County Route 514. Shortly past this intersection, the route briefly forms the border between East Amwell Township to the west and Raritan Township to the east before crossing entirely into Raritan Township. The road continues north through farms, reaching commercial development as it approaches the Flemington area. Past the intersection with County Route 611 (South Main Street), the road widens to six lanes and crosses into Flemington. The road comes to the Flemington Circle where Route 31 heads north and Route 12 heads west.
Past the Flemington Circle, U.S. Route 202 proceeds northeast on a four-lane divided highway that crosses back into Raritan Township. It heads through woodland, passing by Northlandz, which is home to the world’s largest model railroad in HO scale. The road crosses the South Branch Raritan River into Readington Township, where it heads east, passing over Norfolk Southern‘s Lehigh Line north of Three Bridges. Past Three Bridges, the route runs through a mix of woods and farms.
U.S. Route 202 crosses into Branchburg Township, where it crosses Old York Road again. It continues northeast through agricultural areas with residences and businesses increasing along the road After crossing Old York Road (County Route 637) another time, the route heads through suburban commercial areas. It passes over the North Branch Raritan River and enters Bridgewater Township, where it passes under New Jersey Transit’s Raritan Valley Line and runs past a shopping center. U.S. Route 202 heads east into Raritan, where it passes through business areas and crosses County Route 567 (First Avenue). Past the County Route 567 intersection, the road comes to the modified Somerville Circle, where it intersects U.S. Route 206 and Route 28. U.S. Route 202 passes over the circle with ramps to U.S. Route 206 and Route 28, which head through the circle.
U.S. Route 206 forms a concurrency with U.S. Route 202 past the and the two routes continue north through Bridgewater Township, briefly entering Somerville. The road features an interchange with U.S. Route 22 and heads north with the Bridgewater Commons shopping mall on the east side of the road and the Somerset Corporate Center on the west side of the road. An interchange with Commons Way provides access to both these places. Past Commons Way, the road passes under Garrettson Road and comes to an interchange with Interstate 287 that also provides access to Interstate 78. Past the Interstate 287 interchange, U.S. Routes 202 and 206 continue north as a two-lane undivided road with residences to the east and corporate parks to the west. The road crosses Chambers Brook into Bedminster Township, where it soon passes under Interstate 78. Shortly after Interstate 78, it widens into a four-lane divided highway with a Jersey barrier that runs through a mix of commercial and residential areas. U.S. Routes 202 and 206 come to another interchange with Interstate 287, pass over the North Branch Raritan River again, and come to an intersection where the two routes split.
Upon splitting from U.S. Route 206, U.S. Route 202 heads north on Somerville Road, a two-lane undivided road. It soon meets County Route 523 (Main Street), and U.S. Route 202 makes a right turn to head to the northeast on Lamington Road. The route heads east through residential areas and crosses the North Branch Raritan River into Far Hills. Upon entering Far Hills, the route intersects County Route 512 (Peapack Road), forming a concurrency that lasts with that route until County Route 512 heads south on Far Hills Road just before U.S. Route 202 crosses New Jersey Transit’s Gladstone Branch near the Far Hills Station. From here, the road heads northeast through wooded areas with some clearings and residences, crossing into Bernardsville. In Bernardsville, U.S. Route 202 heads through rural areas with trees and fields as Mine Brook Road before reaching the town itself. In the town, the route intersects County Route 525 (Claremont Road), briefly running concurrently with that route until it heads south on Mt. Airy Road. From the center of Bernardsville, U.S. Route 202 runs northeast as Morristown Road, crossing into Bernards Township, where it heads through wooded residential areas. In Bernards Township, the road features an intersection with County Route 613 (Childs Road) and North Maple Avenue, the latter providing access to Interstate 287.
U.S. Route 202 crosses the Passaic River into Harding Township, Morris County, where the route becomes Mt. Kemble Avenue. The NJDOT replaced this bridge with a new bridge built in seven days during August 2012. The new bridge was designed by AmerCom Corporation and built by Joseph M. Sanzari, Inc. utilizing Accelerated Bridge Construction techniques. In Harding Township, the road runs north through mostly runs through wooded residential and commercial areas, closely paralleling Interstate 287, which runs to the east of U.S. Route 202. It heads into more heavily wooded areas, running to the east of Morristown National Historical Park, before continuing northeast into Morris Township. Here, U.S. Route 202 continues through woodland, but residences start to increase along the road and it passes by an industrial facility. It passes by the Spring Brook Country Club before crossing into Morristown. Upon entering Morristown, the route heads toward the downtown area, where it splits into a one-way pair following Market Street northbound and Bank Street southbound. The one-way pair comes to Park Place, a square in the center of Morristown, where U.S. Route 202 meets County Route 510 and Route 124. County Route 510 heads west from the square on Washington Street and east from the square on Morris Street, while Route 124 heads east from the square on South Street. Meanwhile, U.S. Route 202 continues north from Park Place on Speedwell Avenue, a two-lane road that heads past numerous downtown businesses. The route then leaves the downtown area, heading through residential neighborhoods and crossing the Whippany River before leaving Morristown and crossing back into Morris Township, where it briefly passes through an area of businesses. At the intersection with County Route 650 (Hanover Avenue), U.S. Route 202 crosses into Morris Plains, where it continues north through suburban commercial and residential areas. The route passes under New Jersey Transit’s Morristown Line near the Morris Plains Station and intersects the southern terminus of Route 53 (Tabor Road).
Past the Route 53 intersection, maintenance of U.S. Route 202 is transferred from the New Jersey Department of Transportation to the county and it resumes northeast on Littleton Road, heading through residential areas. It enters an area of corporate parks as it crosses Route 10 and heads into Parsippany-Troy Hills. After passing through the area of corporate parks, the road heads back through suburban neighborhoods before coming to an interchange with Interstate 80. In the vicinity of the Interstate 80 interchange, U.S. Route 202 is state maintained. Past the interchange, U.S. Route 202 closely parallels Interstate 80 to the north as a four-lane undivided road before coming to an intersection with County Route 511 (Parsippany Boulevard), where U.S. Route 202 makes a left turn onto that route to form a concurrency.
The two routes continue north on Parsippany Boulevard, a two-lane road that comes to an intersection with U.S. Route 46, where the road is briefly state maintained. Past U.S. Route 46, the road continues north, intersecting ramps that provide access to and from southbound Interstate 287. Here, the road becomes county maintained again. It passes by business parks and then wooded residential areas, closely paralleling Interstate 287 again. At the intersection of Intervale Road, U.S. Route 202 and County Route 511 make a right turn, immediately interchanging with Interstate 287, with access to the southbound direction and from the northbound direction. The routes follow Intervale Road briefly before making a left turn to resume onto Parsippany Boulevard. The road crosses over the Jersey City Reservoir, which supplies drinking water to Jersey City, and enters Boonton, where the road becomes Washington Street. This street carries the two routes through residential areas before coming to another interchange with Interstate 287 that also features access to the southbound direction and access from the northbound direction. Past this interchange, U.S. Route 202 splits from County Route 511 by heading to the northeast on Myrtle Avenue.
Myrtle Avenue carries U.S. Route 202 through commercial areas sandwiched by Interstate 287 to the southeast and New Jersey Transit’s Montclair-Boonton Line. Along Myrtle Avenue, U.S. Route 202 features ramps to and from southbound Interstate 287. The route crosses into Montville, where it becomes Main Road and runs a farther distance from Interstate 287, heading north through residential areas. The road turns east and makes a left turn to head north on Main Street, which angles east and comes to an interchange with Interstate 287. Past this interchange, U.S. Route 202 continues through commercial areas, crossing over the Montclair-Boonton Line, before heading into residential neighborhoods, running parallel to the Montclair-Boonton Line. After passing Towaco Station, the route makes a right turn, passes under the railroad line, immediately makes a left turn to resume on Main Street. The route heads east as a four-lane road running to the south of the railroad tracks through residential areas, narrowing to two lanes. It enters Lincoln Park, where U.S. Route 202 intersects County Route 633 (Boonton Turnpike), continuing east onto Boonton Turnpike. A short distance later, the route intersects County Route 511 Alternate (Comly Road) and forms a wrong-way concurrency with that route. The two routes continue southeast through wooded residential neighborhoods, eventually running parallel to the Pompton River.
U.S. Route 202 and County Route 511 Alternate cross the Pompton River into Wayne, Passaic County, where the road becomes Mountainview Boulevard. It crosses the Montclair-Boonton Line near the Mountain View Station and comes to an interchange with Route 23, where County Route 511 Alternate ends and U.S. Route 202 heads north on Route 23, a six-lane freeway that is state maintained. The road interchanges with County Route 670 (Alps Road) and then with County Route 683 (Newark-Pompton Turnpike). Route 23 and U.S. Route 202 continue north from this point as a surface road through commercial areas. At a U-turn ramp, the eastbound direction of County Route 504 follows both directions of the road, having to use the ramp in order to continue across the road. Northbound U.S. Route 202 splits from Route 23, where the cut-off intersection with County Route 504 is located. At this point, the westbound direction of County Route 504 and the southbound direction of U.S. Route 202 follow southbound Route 23 until an intersection.
Past Route 23 and County Route 504, U.S. Route 202 heads north on Black Oak Ridge Road, a county maintained road that heads through residential neighborhoods. The road comes to an intersection with County Route 689 (Paterson-Hamburg Turnpike), where U.S. Route 202 merges onto that road, forming a concurrency. The Paterson-Hamburg Turnpike heads north past some businesses, running a short distance to the east of the Ramapo River, before coming to Terhune Drive, where U.S. Route 202 makes a right turn onto that road with County Route 689 continuing north on Paterson-Hamburg Turnpike. Terhune Drive carries U.S. Route 202 north through wooded neighborhoods, running in between Pines Lake to the east and Pompton Lake, which is part of the Ramapo River, to the west.
Eventually, Route 29 was realigned to follow present-day U.S. Route 202 between Ringoes and Somerville, replacing Route 12 between Flemington and Somerville. In the mid-1930s, U.S. Route 122 was renumbered to U.S. Route 202 and was rerouted to head from Flemington to the New York border at Suffern, where it would continue to Bangor, Maine. U.S. Route 202 would follow newly built Route 29 from Flemington northeast to Somerville; Route 31 north to Bedminster; Route 32 northeast to Mountain View, which was state-maintained south of Route 5N (now Route 53) in Morris Plains; Route 23 in Wayne; and county roads from Route 23 northeast to the New York border. In 1948, Bridge Street in Lambertville from the New Hope-Lambertville Bridge to Route 29 was designated as Route S29. In the 1953 New Jersey state highway renumbering, which eliminated long concurrencies between U.S. and state routes, many of the state routes that followed U.S. Route 202 were removed from the route. Route 29 was removed from U.S. Route 202 and rerouted to follow former Route 29A to Frenchtown, and Routes S29, 31, and 32 were entirely eliminated. In addition, Route 30 was renumbered to Route 69 as it conflicted with U.S. Route 30 in southern New Jersey.
Plans for a limited-access highway along the U.S. Route 202 corridor date back to 1932 when a parkway was planned to continue into Pennsylvania along U.S. Route 202; this proposal never came to fruition. In the 1960s, a bypass around Ringoes opened for U.S. Route 202 and Route 69 (which became Route 31 in 1967) with the former alignment of U.S. Route 202 through town becoming Route 179. In 1966, a freeway was proposed along the U.S. Route 202 corridor between the Pennsylvania border and Interstate 287 in Bridgewater Township. The portion of this freeway between the Pennsylvania border and the Route 179 interchange in Ringoes was legislated in 1969 with the New Hope-Lambertville Toll Bridge opening in 1971. The freeway opened in October 1974, and the former alignment of U.S. Route 202 between Lambertville and Ringoes became an extension of Route 179. Meanwhile, the portion of the proposed U.S. Route 202 freeway between Lambertville and Bridgewater Township was canceled due to opposition from residents along the route.
In the 1980s, upgrades were made to the portion of U.S. Route 202 concurrent with Route 23. This portion of the road, which was originally a four-lane undivided road, saw an upgrade to a six-lane freeway south of the Alps Road interchange and to a six-lane surface road north of there. Construction on these improvements was completed in 1986. There were also plans to replace the Flemington Circle with an interchange as part of a project that would have also built a limited-access bypass of Flemington for Route 31; however, this plan was never realized.